Good Day to you all!
Biggio Hamina Cellars is the result of pure luck. In June of 1996 Caroline Biggio moved from Aspen, Colorado where she worked as a line cook at The Little Nell to open a restaurant in McMinnville, Oregon. In September of 1996 I moved from Denver to McMinnville for a vineyard job. I had been working for a distributor, and they all assured me a low paying job in the vineyard, so I loaded up my old Volvo and moved out. In the first four hours I’d found a job, a place to live, and met my Bride.
I have specific ideas about how I want the wines to be providing the vintage can supply the raw material to make a plan work. So it is always subject to change. In a perfect world there would be massive amounts of whole cluster and no new wood. However, the weather does not always cooperate and we destem sometimes, and then use no new wood. I see little reason to predicate a style which is based upon a tree that’s grown on another continent.
The plan is usually to do a single vineyard with a single type of grape. This being said, our Willamette Valley Pinot noir is a blend of several vineyards (but we aren’t selling that today). The vast majority of wines are spontaneously fermented. This means that I don’t open a bag of commercial yeast strain to get things going. Perhaps I should say “native” or “natural”, but because we don’t ever put the yeast strain under a microscope to define exactly where it came from… we use the term spontaneous.
We make wines in a very bare bones style. We work with our growers, they farm well and we ask them to pick on our schedule, then the fruit comes to our co-op. I make the wines for Biggio Hamina, Claygate, Noel, Schönetal Cellars, Gypsy Dancer, Primavera and a couple blends for Longplay. There is no temperature control or glycol system, but we do have our own bottling line as well as a Delta E2 destemmer, a baby Bucher XPro8 and a sorting line. I do not own a filter, and of the 20,000+ cases that I have made for myself and others since 2007 perhaps 200 have had a polishing filter for clarity reasons, but nothing has been sterile filtered whether through a plate and frame or a crossflow. I like to make a wine that is still living.
Our wines will have sediment and they will throw tartrates if you get them cold as we don’t cold stabilize either. In a world of modernity we are a throw back to more basic times, and I don’t see any reason to change.
Work experience: I have gotten paychecks from Archery Summit, Beaux Freres, Chateau Benoit, Elk Cove, Maysara and Patton Valley. I have always made wine, but also have been the vineyard manager and national sales guy. I know how to do what I think needs to get done.